Milam County Historical Commission - Milam County, TX
Statue of Ben Milam at Milam County, TX Courthouse
Old Junior High School Building, Rockdale, TX
Milam County Courthouse - Cameron, TX
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Milam County Historical Commission
Milam County, Texas
Requests for Info
Received via Website


Tanner Delano
Harker Heights, Texas 76548


I have been recently researching my family history, and found my great-great-great-great grandmother's
headstone at the following link on this website:

The grave is located at Hickory Grove/Garza Cemetery, and I was inquiring on how to get to the cemetery
and also for permission to get on the land where the grave is located.

Any information would be helpful.

Thank you!


Standard reply - email forwarded to MCHC members and others interested in MC history



Hi Tanner.

I'm glad that Jerry Caywood, our MCHC website administrator, forwarded your inquiry to my wife Beth, and
myself. She is responsible for finding your ancestors headstones in the thick woods outside the reasonably
cleared cemetery grounds. Why she was wandering out there, I'll never know. Great way to get snake bit.

If you'll note attachment #1, you'll see that the County Road 306 is a loop road off of Hwy 79  between
Thorndale and Rockdale. Should you be traveling through Thorndale, the west end of CR 306 is approximately
seven and one half miles east of downtown Thorndale. Once you turn left (north) on CR 306 Off Hwy 79, proceed
approximately 1.6 miles to the Arthur and Sharon Garza Mobile home on the left. The dirt road to the right of
their home leads to the Garza and Hickory Grove Cemeteries. The Garza property must be accessed to travel to
the cemetery. The Garza's are a wonderful couple and have been very accommodating to cemetery guests. Their
Tel. number is listed in the Milam County Red Telephone Book, but I would prefer to send it to you in a
private post.

Attachments # 2 and 3 will give you a better perspective of the cemetery's location. I left them in landscape
so that the larger size would be more legible. Obviously, I'd recommend printing the same.

Upon entering the cemetery from the front gate, proceed straight to the rear of the cemetery and to the left.
There will be a cleared section outside what appears to be the normal boundary of the cemetery. That's where
you'll find your ancestors plot. We never probed in that vicinity, so there's no telling what else may be
buried there. It might be a rewarding treasure hunt for you, should you decide to give it a try.

It has been over two years since we mowed, string trimmed and cut up the dead fallen trees and put them in
numerous burn piles. I seriously doubt that anyone has taken any maintenance effort in the cemetery since
then. Should you have access to a String trimmer with a brush cutter head attachment, I believe that it would
be a good idea to bring it along. Long pants and gloves go without saying. Watch out that you don't step in
one of the many dillo holes.

When you visit, I'd highly recommend that you take in the G.A. (George) Doss and August Doss, large petrified
tree trunk headstones. The beautiful large shells adorning it are impressive. It's easily seen in the east
(right) side of the cemetery. They're my personal favorite headstones in all of Milam County. I understand
that when they were originally placed, there was a canopy over each of them.

Let me know if I may be of further assistance.

Best regards,
Jack and Beth Brooks


Hello John,
Thank you very much for contacting me back and providing all the useful tips and information. My father and I will soon be contacting the Garzas once we find a date that works for us to drive down to Rockdale.
Once again, thank you!

Tanner Delano


Hi Tanner.

If you'll take note of attachment #1, the last paragraph dealing with the Delano headstones, you'll note some question of John Delano Seniors headstone possibly having more detail regarding the children???. Beth and I only observed Lizzy's granite headstone and three fallen temporary concrete markers. The stamped metal/ stainless identifying plates were missing on all three. I would certainly try probing in the vicinity, since John's headstone may have been a fallen and buried tablet like so many other areas of the cemetery. Hindsight is always 20/20, but I wish that we would have spent time doing that when we were out there.

Attachment #2, left in profile for additional detail, is for your interest.

I spoke with Sharon Garza yesterday and she is looking forward to your visit and that of your fathers. When you visit, you might also want to walk down to their very well maintained Garza Family Cemetery. It has an impressive wrought iron arch and has meticulously maintained grounds. We visited it a few years ago during some freezing winter weather. Their family members had placed blankets over a number of the more vulnerable shrubs to protect them from the elements. That struck us as extremely caring for the cemetery and respectful of their departed family members.


Jack and Beth Brooks

Thank you for this information. I was never able to find a death certificate for John Sr., however a pension that his wife filed indicates he died in Houston not long after his sons were born. If my father and I can find his headstone, that would be tremendous.

I am also looking forward to this week contacting the Garzas for our visit.

Also, I've noticed from the picture that the headstone is obviously very weathered. What would you recommend we use if we wanted to clean it up?

Tanner Delano



The only product that I would recommend is D2 Headstone cleaner. It's bio-degradable and non alkaline. As much as one might be tempted to use bleach or ammonia, they're one of the most degrading substances that can be applied to native stone(i.e. granite, marble and limestone). It usually takes multiple applications, about a month apart, to gain the best results. It works over time, it's not an immediate results product. Just scroll down to the bottom of the next link and you'll see what three applications over a few months accomplished on the late Dr. Page's headstone. 

This link will give you some great tips on cleaning historic headstones:

I'll drop off a partial bottle of D2, a spray bottle and a plastic scraper if the headstone has a heavy layer of lichens and leave them with Sharon. They're yours for any future headstone cleaning.

Have fun.....